Boiler engineering challenged the faculties; spirit soul and body. We had to stay sharp, sober, and watchful; at the same time, we tried to dodge anger, resentment and bitterness. As the last five years plodded onward, steam plant reeked negligence. Budgetary frugality inhibited any real maintenance, and with this stance came the digression. No longer were all six boilers ever in operation, no longer was the coal of adequate BTU’s. Warning whistles and flashing lights functioned accurately less and less, as the steam output meter registered just above warning.
Folks know what a rake is because of their yard or garden. Our rakes, 40 pounds of tempered steel, measured eight feet from hand to claw. With these we made coal burn and effected tubes full of treated water to sometimes find evaporation; sometimes even steam. Thermostats that regulated water level in the tube–fed drums were often gummed up or broken. In addition, stoker chains fell off, water bottles clouded, and coal dust settled in your coffee.
These were the days of boiling veins, reacting emotions, and vile vocabulary development. The audacity of management to ask us to produce through hard labor what once was produced through well-managed systems, described our feelings. What eventually came was bitter and sweet; the mill shut down. “Sweet” soothed the rambunctious feelings, while “bitter” took us to the unemployment office.
I look back on those days as an ending and yet the beginning. They were the end of safety, a good reputation, and a decent living. They were the beginning of recognizing a need for God, and a need to go beyond what came naturally in physical labor. I had to discover talents as of yet unfounded.
See, He that has begun a good work in us, will start doing it, and one day, in cooperation, we change. The inside work cannot be denied, and not like the steel management, it never stops. Yes, I had found the Lord, halfway through my steel mill experience. It was then I discovered His continual investment and God’s revenues are infinite. There is no digression in His plan, as He aims to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ.
The outward man does perish, the inward is renewed day by day. God never quits on any of us. I don’t know about you but I function better knowing He is there. Eventually His wisdom is all I want and though we may have to wait, it’s worth it all.
Wisdom is associated with Meekness, as James puts it, and meekness is associated with the plan of God. We gain it as Christians by waiting and watching for Him. Eventually we see God’s hand behind all the events of our lives. When we discern his presence, we find His wisdom.
In closing, an intimacy develops as we begin to see His perfect answers, unmanlike, nevertheless, exactly what is needed. His wisdom fits my need like a glove, and no earthly substitute can do that. Thank you, Lord, for loving me so closely and caring about my little things. Yes, I am truly a basket case, often embarrassed to ask for help, but not from You. Love ya